We should celebrate the fact that within the space of a year London has played host to stagings of not one but two Sondheim masterpieces that have all but redefined them in theatrical terms: Company and Follies.
Just a quickie for this revisit to Follies, which remains as perfect a piece of musical theatre as I could hope for. I loved it then but I really love it now.
The Olivier Award-winning Follies returns to the National Theatre in richer, deeper, more resonant form and just blows me away.
Eighteen months on and with a couple of well-placed casting changes Stephen Sondheim’s Follies returns to the National Theatre with the excellence of this devastating musical a breath of fresh air amidst a slew of disappointing recent openings in the capital.
By turns cynical, touching and with a rogue twinkle in its eye, Allelujah! doesn’t set the stage alight, and as both a black comedy and state-of-the-nation play it feels underpowered, but Bennett remains a bastion of not just British playwriting, but Britain as a whole.
Screening Alan Bennett’s Allelujah! on the big screen may well alter the viewer’s perspective, placing it within the tradition of television and film drama that lends itself to the cliffhanger-based six-part series that Bennett’s broad and episodic approach calls upon.
In some ways, Allelujah! is perfectly symptomatic of the problem I have with the Bridge Theatre. Does London really need any new theatres, no matter how much people think they want interval madeleines?
Allelujah! is not a masterpiece, mainly because most of the characters are underdeveloped and there is too much going on, but it is extremely funny and it has something very urgent to say, and says it without compromise.
Alan Bennett has perhaps by chance hit two topical news hot-potatoes – barely a week old – even while deliberately tackling more obvious fave targets like NHS cuts and the Thatcher legacy.
Details have been released of the National Theatre’s season from May to September 2018. Highlights include the Uk premiere of Hadestown, with music, lyrics and book by Anaïs Mitchell, the return of Follies and Patrick Marber’s new version of Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King.
Of course, Follies is much more than a spectacle. It is simultaneously a nostalgic tribute to the showgirl era and, a show written to consign it to history.
The National Theatre brings Stephen Sondheim’s classic Broadway musical to its stage for the first time, directed by Dominic Cooke. Here’s Love London Love Culture’s round up of the reviews so far.
It’s been a while since the National Theatre last revived a great song and dance extravaganza and a Sondheim one at that. But with Dominic Cooke’s production of Follies, the NT’s reputation as one of the nation’s finest creators of musical theatre is restored.
We should never be afraid to attack sacred cows. And when sacred cows are also cash cows, we should never be afraid to kick them in their milky udders
What do you need to know about Dominic Cooke’s revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre? It’s a great big, sumptuous, stellar hit.
Using the original book with just a smattering of small changes, this is musical theatre close to its most luxurious, and a bittersweetly life-affirming thrill to watch.
Not a harsh word can be uttered about any of the big Sondheim numbers, or against the stellar cast – especially the women. Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee, Tracie Bennett, Josephine Barstow – be still my beating heart!
Philosophical questions that have puzzled us for centuries are given a contemporary yet timeless spin in A Number, presented by the Lyceum in partnership with the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The result is an intelligent, accessible, emotional and beautifully acted piece.
Eighteen months after their first outing, the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of the James Plays trilogy remains a theatrical event worth anybody’s time and money.
DRAMA AS REDEMPTION From the first moments Nadia Fall’s production sets brutal, bullying humanity against a hot, strange, majestic Australian dawn. A lone aborigine watches, silent on a great dark bare plain , as the land heaves beneath him and … Continue reading →
- Page 1 of 2